February 26, 2010

Tip of the day

Remember that it doesn’t hurt to ask.  I hear the word “no” a lot, and I’m not talking about my daughter.   I am a little brazen about asking questions, especially when it comes to questions about coupons, discounts, or sales.  I don’t mind hearing no from people because every once in a while I hear a yes.  Either way the information is useful.  Let me give you some recent examples:

  • I asked at the Target customer service desk if they would honor the price match guarantee for a 3 day sale (Food City is having a wonderful one this Thursday-Saturday!)  They have Charmin bath tissue discounted to $3.99.  I have a $1 off coupon.  If Target would honor the price match I could have used my Target $1 off Charmin coupon too!  The rep said that they do not.  I didn’t remember that being in the verbiage of the price match policy and asked her to show that to me in writing.  I was polite in my request.  I said that I didn’t want to give readers incorrect information, and I said that I didn’t remember seeing that when I read the policy.  She and another representative searched their files and found the exclusion for me and were super nice about it, which I told them I appreciated.  (Lord only knows how rude they might have been to me at another discount store which shall remain nameless!)  In this scenario I could have had a few options:
    • To have taken her word at face value and not pursued seeing the policy in writing—what if she had been wrong?
    • To have not asked her about the price match in the first place—that would have gotten me nowhere
    • To have asked her as I did—now I know the information for the future and can share it with others
  • Hubby, daughter, and I decided to scratch our menu plans at home and grab dinner out.  I had two coupons in my purse for restaurants.  One was expired.  I really preferred to go to the restaurant where the coupon had expired.  I called the restaurant and asked to speak with the manager to see if they would honor an expired coupon.  I told him that it meant the difference between our family dining there or another restaurant.  He said that they do not honor expired coupons.  We went to the other restaurant and enjoyed our BOGO deal (the entire family ate our own meals, we had a leftover box, and tipped 20% for $17!)  Now, I want to be clear here.  I AM NOT ADVOCATING FOR YOU TO BE SNEAKY ABOUT EXPIRED COUPONS!!  Every chain grocery store that I know of other than commissaries do not honor expired manufacturer coupons.  Sometimes, though, restaurants and hotel chains will honor expired coupons because they figure that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.  I ALWAYS call first to ask.  The call took me about 2 minutes total, and now I know the information.  Did it hurt me to hear no, absolutely not!  We enjoyed a nice dinner out as a family at another locally owned and operated restaurant.
  • I have a relatively new job where I work a few hours each week.  My boss knows that I love to coupon.  I asked her if she minded if I print coupons at the office on occasion.  I told her up front that it wouldn’t be very often and it might be 10 tops per week.  She laughed when I asked her as if I were being ridiculous and said, “Of course, print away!” 
  • Knoxville schools have a fundraiser selling coupon books for $10 each when the school season starts.  I make a habit of carrying the coupon book in my purse.  When I’m checking out at a register, I’ll ask if they are in the school coupon book.  If the cashier says no, my next question is to ask if the store accepts competitor coupons. You would be surprised at how often they say yes!

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